Rhythm & Views 


I love good, fucked-up music as much as the next guy. This Icelandic artist, on his fourth full-length solo album, whips up a maelstrom of righteous noise with samples, distortion, feedback, high- and low-tech, and even traditional instruments. It's a slightly-out-of-focus, postmodern amalgamation of blues, glam, psychedelia, noise, death metal, trip-hop and glitchcore.

Mugison's approach, though, leaves me a little cold at first; he sounds a tad ironic, seeming to manipulate a listener's sympathy for sentimentality and pretension. Call it kitsch glitch.

But by the fourth song, I believe. On "Jesus Is a Good Name to Moan," Mugi starts stomping like The Beatles' "White Album" infused with T.Rex swagger. It's hard not to be moved by his paroxysms of howling, purging his demons like John Lennon in primal-scream therapy.

Speaking of the Beatles, the following track is "George Harrison," a paean to the titular artist's search for spirituality. Mugi seems to wish sadly that he had Harrison's dedication, but he suggests we all can "try a little harder to love." It's a lopsided country stroll, complete with delicate bells, that vaguely recalls the gentleness of Beck's Sea Change.

In the same musical vein is the Nick Drake-esque "Deep Breathing," in which the hopefulness wanes to something darker. From there, Mugi can't do wrong, proceeding through cookie-monster metal, acoustic blues, enervated gospel, industrial-strength punk and a Tom Waits-style take on soul.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Get Your Spooks On for a Halloweekend at Hotel Congress

In the Flesh: Howe Gelb's 60th B-day Bash at the Rialto Theater

Song of the Day: 'Cosmic Love Song No. 23' by Louise Le Hir

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Noise Annoys

    Mute Swan and the Curse of Local Hype
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Honky Tonk Girl

    How this Tucson 19-year-old might trip the country electric
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation